New Delhi: Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Jammu and Kashmir government over discrimination in handing out compensation to paramilitary forces killed in the deadly communal clashes in Kishtwar last month.
"Can you manage the state without the assurance of others? These people lost their lives while serving in your state. You can't treat others differently. We know you have a special status," thundered Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam.
The court was responding to an affidavit filed by the state government explaining the rationale behind its policy on differential compensation for locals and those hailing from outside the state.
The government had, at the previous hearing, said that Rs five lakh will be paid to the kin of those who lost their lives - including paramilitary personnel - if they were permanent residents of the state. Rs two lakh, meanwhile, would be paid to victims who belonged to other states.
The fact that the affidavit was not filed by the Chief Secretary of the state but his junior also earned the government the court's wrath, which said, "Is it not the duty of the top executive to inform the court on what happened? You must help the court. Are we having leisure time here?"
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking a direction to the Centre and Omar government to provide adequate security and safe passage to pilgrims stranded due to the curfew in Kishtwar.
The court has directed the state government to file an affidavit by the Chief Secretary and has posted the matter for further hearing on September 20.